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Dark matter recent perspectives: new particles, neutrinos and the Sun

Jan. 13, 2019

Despite almost 85 years having passed since Fritz Zwicky made the first inference of an unseen amount of mass in the galaxy Coma cluster that he decided to call dark matter, the quest to determine its nature remains one of the most fundamental problems to be solved in fundamental physics.

Nevertheless, impressive developments were recently achieved in theoretical physics, mostly driven by the validation of the standard theory of elementary particles with the detection of the Higgs boson, and the discovery of one of the most enduring predictions of theory of General Relativity – the existence of gravitational waves. The robustness of such amazing theories has inspired physicists, cosmologists and astronomers to look for new ways to study the nature of dark matter.

Indeed, the firm establishment of these theories as milestones in theoretical physics, accompanied by a large amount of high-quality data has challenged our scientific community to address the dark matter problem in new ways, by making elaborated extensions to these theories, leading to a large number of new dark matter models. For instance, the dark matter substance, once assumed to be made of a simple unknown fundamental particle, is now considered to be a full and sophisticated invisible dark matter ensemble constituted by several fermionic and bosonic particles.  

One of such elaborated dark matter models was recently studied by I. Lopes in two articles:

In a first article published in PRD (with the title “Dark matter imprint on 8B neutrino spectrum” [a]), I. Lopes and J. Silk have discussed the possibility that certain classes of dark matter particles could have an unique imprint in the shape of spectra of some key solar neutrino sources, like the electronic neutrino spectrum of boron 8.

In a second article, published in the Astrophysical Journal (with the title “The Sterile-Active Neutrino Flavour Model: the Imprint of Dark Matter on the Electron Neutrino Spectra” [b]), I. Lopes discusses the constraints and imprints on solar neutrinos for a dark sector (made by two fermions: an unknown particle and a sterile neutrino) that could solve some problems in cosmology related with the formation of structure in the Universe, the solar abundance metallicity problem, and explain the experimental anomalies found in the short-baseline neutrino experiments.

[a] https://journals.aps.org/prd/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevD.99.023008

[b] http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/1538-4357/aaeb2f/meta